Travel Report: The Danang Coastline, Vietnam.
The Danang Coastline, Vietnam.
When I look back on my Danang adventures, I naturally recall all the amazing sights I managed to tick off during my five night stay. However, every bit as memorable is the day I took a well-earned rest and didn’t wake up until midday. The day when, having had coffee, I wanted nothing more than a long leisurely stroll down the Danang Coastline.
Located right on The South China Sea, Danang is home to over 11 kilometres of beautiful golden beaches, which run all the way to the neighbouring city of Hoi An. Feeling unashamedly lazy, I took a taxi across the city to Non Nuoc Beach, where I began my explorations.
I couldn’t believe how quiet it was! In fact, as I entered the sands from the main road, I felt a wave of pure calm wash over me. A wave comprised of a light sea breeze and the soft squelch of sand underfoot. And of course, the actual waves that gently rocked back and forth before me. In the distance two people plodded towards me, but they were gone in a matter of minutes, nodding and smiling as they went. And then I was alone.
I sat on Non Nuoc Beach for about half an hour, soaking up as much of the sun as I could bear. In that time only one person appeared, a shaggy Australian backpacker who cheerfully agreed to take my photo. Then I whipped off my t-shirt and dived into the sea to cool off. Instinctively, I knew this was going to be an amazing day.
The Danang Coastline.
Before arriving in Danang I had admittedly scoffed at an article that claimed Non Nuoc was one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. I’m not sure why I’d been so quick to dismiss this, perhaps because it’s a city beach. But that afternoon I could certainly see why it’s so highly rated, with clear turquoise waters, pristine sand and little in the way of visible pollution.
No surprise then that there’s some suitably swanky accommodation on Non Nuoc Beach. Some are private apartments bookable through Airbnb and Booking.com. Most come with private pools and were nowhere near as expensive as I’d imagined.
There’s also a giant hotel called The Vinh Pearl Resort. A quick look on my phone brought up phrases like “world class facilities” and “get the celebrity treatment”. Thus I decided to investigate and see if anyone would make me feel like Brad Pitt.
Within a minute I was strolling deep into Vinh Pearl’s impeccably maintained gardens. Spotless lawns… handsome palm trees… a conscientious janitor sweeping up some stray leaves on the stone pathway. Uh huh, these guys seemed on top of things. And then I saw the pool, which was… rather nice.
The Vinh Pearl Resort.
Inside it was all marble surfaces, dark wood, tasteful floral arrangements and soft armchairs. After a quick chat with a woman at reception, I managed to land a brief tour around one of their Deluxe King rooms.
Frankly, I was underwhelmed by the somewhat sparse bedroom/living room. Even if the giant bed looked much more inviting than my hostel bunk. Then I saw the bathroom, which actually made me consider extending my Danang stay with a night at The Vinh Pearl. Finally, sensible Leighton took over and I thanked the lady for her time.
Back on the beach, I slowly but surely made my way towards downtown Danang. A number of fancy hotels came and went until I eventually gave in to my building hunger and branched off into another ritzy resort. Taking a seat under a parasol next to a large, circular pool, I had no idea where I was. Until, that is, a shirt-and-tie waiter arrived to offer me a menu. “Welcome to The Hyatt Regency, sir”. Well, a ring-a-ding-ding.
Ignoring the eyebrow-raising prices, I realised just how ravenous I was. “Pick me!” screamed the Grilled Chicken Sticks with Peanut Satay Sauce & Green Mango Salad. So I did, along with a wonderfully refreshing peach and lime ice tea.
The Danang Coastline.
The Danang Coastline is comprised of numerous beaches. Though you wouldn’t necessarily know it, as visually it’s just one long magnificent golden stretch. After lunch, my stroll took me out of Non Nuoc Beach and onto the curiously named Bai tam T20 Beach. There is no sign to tell you this, just Google Maps, which I was keeping an eye on as I progressed.
The sands were still gloriously peaceful. Bafflingly so considering these beaches sit on the doorstep of a monster city home to over 1.1 million people. Not that I was complaining, it was brilliant to have the place more or less to myself. Just the odd fisherman here and there dragging their long nets in the water as they searched for the right spot.
I walked and walked and walked, still on Bai tam T20. Gradually, it began getting busier. For the most part it was Vietnamese families collecting shells, playing in the sand and paddling in the shallow waters.
There were more fisherman too. One, impossible to ignore, shattered the peace and quiet for the first time that day by whizzing down the beach in his clattery motorbike. Luckily he was soon gone and calm returned.
Adventures in Vietnam.
Some time later, I could hardly say when, I realised I was approaching Danang’s most popular stretch of the coastline. Yup, I could see and indeed hear the crowds from quite a distance. This, I supposed, was the end of the dreamy beach day I’d been having. Well, It had been great while it lasted.
My Khe Beach is a fine stretch of the coastline once frequented by off duty US troops during The Vietnam War. It also has the nickname China Beach, a reference to the ABC TV series China Beach. This 4-season drama documented aspects of The Vietnam War from the perspectives of women, American soldiers and Vietnamese families. Parts of the show were based on Danang, its beaches and the nearby hospitals, air strips and military bases.
It was late afternoon by the time I joined the action on My Khe Beach. And boy was there a lot going on. A group of teens were having a football match, while a large party on a company outing posed for a string of cheesy photographs.
The surf had definitely picked up too. Hence I saw all kinds of water sports unfolding, from wind surfing and yachting to hang-gliding and parasailing. The afternoon light was now beginning to fade. It had gotten so grey that there wasn’t even much of a sunset. But that was ok, I’d had a wonderful day and felt ready for the walk back to my hostel.
The Danang, Coastline.
Taking one last look out to sea, I spotted Lady Buddha in the distance, the distinctive white figure on Monkey Mountain that stands as Vietnam’s tallest Buddhist statue. The mountain, as it turned out, would be tomorrow’s main adventure.
The air buzzing with children’s whoops, chatter and crashing waves, I made my way up My Khe Beach. Into the nearby city streets, over Dragon Bridge and back to the place that, for the next few nights at least, I called home.
For more on this amazing Vietnamese city, take a look at my other articles on Danang.
Or maybe look further afield with my many more pieces from across Vietnam.
I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.
such paradise Leighton 🙂 have a great day, PedroL
It is a little slice of paradise I agree. Especially that early stretch, which was as pretty and peaceful as some remote islands I’ve visited. Thanks for visiting.
You’re welcome 🙂 PedroL
Your posts have made me put Vietnam on my bucket list
Aw that’s nice to read Sheree. Thank you and plenty more to come. Hope to be finished with it all by next spring.
Wish I was there now. You were so lucky to have that gorgeous beach all to yourself. Fab pics.
I’m guessing this is about as far away as possible from the Banavie vibe on this November morning. It’s pretty much the same here in Sarajevo. Would be lovely to jump into one of these photos for just a few hours before today’s classes.
I know the Danang coastline only from 30,000 ft as flights to Bangkok from Japan and Korea cross the Vietnamese coast there, usually at night. I always think it would be great to visit that city one day. Your marvelous posts confirm that notion.
I can imagine the aerial view is quite the sight too. Cheers John.
The Danang Coastline looks beautiful and full of so much energy from the waves and people.
As city beaches go it is really lovely, especially when you escape the main drag of My Khe Beach.
Looks like the beaches have something for everyone, Leighton. I’m with you about crowded beaches. While people watching is OK for a while, I am not one to be surrounded by the hordes. Thanks for sharing and have a great day. Allan
I didn’t know that’s where China Beach was located! We didn’t go the Danang’s beaches but found very similar amazing beaches outside of Hoi An, not far away. Love the posing Vietnamese beach goers! Maggie
Yeah it was fun to see the locals enjoying the place before I scurried off. I heard about the beaches of Hoi An, but they ultimately got lost in the mix. Thanks for reading Maggie!
Those two beaches were certainly night and day opposites. Somehow I can’t picture you staying at the Vinh Pearl, at least not without your tux. Just getting a tour was quite a coup in itself. Seemed like a terrific day.
It was a really welcome change of pace from mountain hiking and exploring. Especially as I would be back on an
other mountain adventure the next day. More on that in my next post.
Looks like you found an idyllic place to recharge for the day. I can see the temptation that the hotel, and their very inviting bath, would have but I would probably not leave the room at all to make sure that it was worth the cost of it. Very bright and happy reading on this dreary morning. I hope you have a great weekend 🙂
Yeah the Vinh Pearl would’ve been nice in theory. But hey, no regrets. And looking back I can definitely say my money went a lot further.
Ah, that first part of your walk on the beach was just amazing … I couldn’t believe that there were almost nobody else. But oh my, so many people towards the end!! I would definitely enjoy a walk on this beach (and then look up THAT bathroom to wash away the sea sand 😉).
Oh lord, we haven’t had an apartment with a bath in over a year! So that photo was really calling to me during the editing process, ha.
That bathroom at the Vinh Pearl Resort looks divine Leighton but I’m sure you were equally satisfied saving your hard earned money and staying in more humble lodgings. The beach looks very inviting too and an idyllic place to relax under a sunshade for an hour or two with a book and cool drink.
Thanks Marion, I could certainly do with such a day right now here in Bosnia where the vibe is wintry, grey and gloomy. But charming in its own way.
It’s almost amazing to see such a beautiful beach, we are so used to seeing pollution on Asian beaches nowadays. Thanks for pointing that place out.
Non Nuoc Beach particularly is an unusually idyllic and clean Asian city beach. Even when I went out to Cham Island (to be blogged later) the beaches there were strewn with plastic and other rubbish.
Pristine beaches, indeed! It’s remarkable you got the beaches mostly to yourself that day, given that they’re in touristy areas. The resorts you checked out would be the dream to stay in, or at least to have a simple lunch at (given that it can be afforded!). You look really happy at Non Nuoc Beach, as I don’t ever recall you smiling with your teeth! Can’t wait to see your adventures at Lady Buddha!
Ha! You’re quite right Rebecca, I’m not much of a teeth-bearer when it comes to photos. I must have been caught really off guard, as you suggest.
Loved Da Nang but ended up in Four Seasons in Hoi An before travelling to Saigon and into the cuchi tunnels
Ah, Hoi An is great too and The Four Seasons must have been quite comfy indeed. Hoi An will be my next series from Vietnam. Spent a fair chunk of time in Saigon too but missed out on the tunnels. Thanks for reading Gary. The R’s need back to back home wins if we are serious about the playoffs. Rangers!
Wow, what a scenic beach scene 🙂 What can be better than relaxing on the white sand in the shade from the midday sun under coconut palms and soaking in the warm breeze 🙂
Thanks for dropping by! These were easily the best city beaches I’ve ever seen, appreciate your contribution to the thread.
Gorgeous beaches!! Loved the pic on My Khe Beach 🙂
It’s really lovely Jyothi, for sure. Thanks for visiting!
Thanks for reviewing my hometown 🧡
Hi Rachel, I loved my time in Danang, thanks for reading. I have two more articles to publish on my Danang experiences over the next week 🙂
I cannot wait!
I love how you described the first beach, I could feel the calming effect as I read it! Complete opposite of the other beach haha.
Yes, poles apart. The locals seemed to love it but just worth a quick look for me!
That’s how I felt in Miami. We stayed in North Beach first and it was nice and quiet and calm and we went to South Beach and it was wild ha!
Great post! I hope to visit Vietnam someday and will add this beach to my list of sites to see.
Thanks, it’s a fine stretch of the Vietnamese coastline. More beaches coming next month when I finally get round to posting about Cham Island.
The beaches look incredible, what a lovely place to relax and recuperate 🙂
Thanks for reading Hannah!
The quiet, expansive, serene beach at the beginning of this post would be the best place for me too. The fishermen with their nets were interesting. I’m not one for a luxury stay, but that pool… !!
That pool was pretty tasty indeed. And The Vinh Pearl really chose the best spot on that strip of the coast. It’s amazing that none of their guests bothered with the beach! They were all poolside…
Beautiful place ♥️ You have put Vietnam on my bucket list,Leighton
Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to comment. Still plenty more locations for me to publish between now and the end of the year.
Lovely, I will look forward to those virtual tours till I am on board to Vietnam🤣